William Kiplagat the winner of the Rotterdam Marathon last April is aiming to complete a Dutch double by taking victory in the ING Amsterdam Marathon on Sunday 19 October 2003, to go with his Rotterdam Marathon win from earlier this year.
The 31 year-old Kenyan whose frequent bursts of pace in Rotterdam finally allowed him to break lose of his opponents and led to a marvellous 2:07:42 win ahead of compatriot Josephat Kiprono and Spain’s Manuel Martinez on 13 April, will start the Amsterdam marathon as firm favourite.
Kiplagat had a disastrous World Championships race in Paris where he retired between the 31km and 32km feeling exhausted, and wants desperately to make up for that disappointment.
Third in Amsterdam in 1999 in 2:06:50, a time which remains his personal best, Kiplagat has confirmed that unlike before Paris when his body was not responding to his training – at one point just two weeks before Paris he even requested that he be allowed to withdraw from the Kenyan team – his recent preparations have gone well and he is confident of a good time.
Also in the Amsterdam race this year will be Moses Tanui (38) who has a personal best of 2:06:16 but has been off form since his 2:07:47 third place in Chicago in 2000, even though he did win the 2002 Vienna marathon in a relatively slow 2:10:25. Incidentally, he was knocked out of the 2003 Vienna race when he collided with a mountain biker.
Perhaps of greatest interest will be the debut in Amsterdam of another Kenyan Felix Limo (23) who ran the current world best for 15km (41:29) in 2001, and has a Half Marathon best of 61:15 and a track PB at 10,000m of 27:04.54.